Changes Made to the Presidency of the Seventy
Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Ronald A. Rasband have been called to serve as members of the Presidency of the Seventy effective August 15, 2005. Elder Andersen and Elder Rasband will succeed Elder David E. Sorensen and Elder John H. Groberg. Elder Sorensen has been serving in the Presidency of the Seventy since October 1998; Elder Groberg has served in the Presidency since April 2004.
Elder Neil L. Andersen
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the First Quorum of the Seventy has been called to serve as one of seven Presidents of the Seventy. Before beginning this new assignment, he was serving as the President of the Brazil South Area.
Elder Andersen recently spoke in general conference on discerning evil and choosing the good.
He said: "The choice between good and evil is at the very heart of our experience on earth. In the final review of our lives, it will not really matter if we were rich or poor, if we were athletic or not, if we had friends or were often forgotten.
"We can work, study, laugh and have fun, dance, sing, and enjoy many different experiences. These are a wonderful part of life, but they are not central to why we are here. The opportunity to choose good over evil is precisely why we are here" ("Beware of the Evil behind the Smiling Eyes," Ensign, May 2005, 4647).
Elder Andersen was called to serve as a Seventy in April 1993, at the age of 41. He has since served as executive director of the Church's Audiovisual Department and assistant executive director of the Priesthood Department; a counselor in the Utah North, Utah South, North America Southwest, North America Northeast, and Europe West Area Presidencies; and first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency.
Prior to his call as a General Authority, Elder Andersen served as president of the France Bordeaux Mission and as president of the Tampa Florida Stake. As a young man he served a full-time mission in France.
Elder Andersen graduated from Brigham Young University and earned a master's of business administration from Harvard University. After completing his education, he settled in Tampa, Florida, where he held partnership and senior management positions in advertising, real estate, and health care businesses.
Elder Andersen and his wife, Kathy Williams Andersen, are the parents of four children and nine grandchildren.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the First Quorum of the Seventy has been called to serve as one of seven Presidents of the Seventy. Prior to this call, Elder Rasband was serving as executive director of the Temple Department.
He was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 2000. Elder Rasband has served as First Counselor in the Europe Central Area Presidency and President of the Utah Salt Lake City Area.
Elder Rasband attended the University of Utah. In 1995, Utah Valley State College awarded him an honorary doctorate of business and commerce. His early career included executive sales positions with ZCMI. In 1976, he joined Huntsman Container Company as a sales representative, and in 1987, he was appointed president and chief operating officer of Huntsman Chemical Corporation.
When he left Huntsman Corporation in 1996 to serve as president of the New York New York North mission, he was also serving as a member of the board of directors.
As a young man, he served as a full-time missionary in the Eastern States Mission.
During his first conference address after being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Rasband testified of the one-on-one ministry of the Savior.
He said: "Throughout my life, I have come to know through my own experiences that Heavenly Father hears and answers our personal prayers. I know that Jesus is the living Christ and that He knows each of us individually, or as the scriptures express it, 'one by one' " ("One by One," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 29).
Elder Rasband was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1951. He married Melanie Twitchell in 1973. They are the parents of five children and have nine grandchildren.